Saturday, July 21, 2012

Let's STOP The Violence

Peter Cash, Announcer from FLOW 93.5 FM in Toronto. Join The Movement: Let's Stop The Violence

I woke up this morning with the lyrics from Bohemian Rhapsody stuck in my brain.

"Mama, just killed a man.  Put a gun against his head.  Pulled my trigger, now he's dead"

Immediately, I wondered:  Did this song or those words ever run through the minds of those responsible for the recent gun violence?  Was there regret?  Was there remorse?  Did their heart cry out in protest at all, the moment the first bullet left their gun? Do they have loved ones at home that they will have to explain their actions and feelings of guilt to? Whenever I hear of random gun violence crimes I always think that to myself in silence. 

Clearly the answer MUST be yes, right?  There MUST be so much pain in their minds and hearts that it simply distorts what is true.  That it blocks out all reason of humanity and goodness that may have ever once dwelled within their soul.  That for a moment, when they weren't looking, the devil himself claimed their spirit and allowed evil to occur.  This all MUST be true, right?  My answer is always the same:  YES!

It has to be.  I mean, what would the alternative thought be?  That somewhere deep inside some (or all) of us, lies a demon that can be unleashed at any moment?  That we are in FULL control of this sort of evil and can call upon it when we demand it?  That we are all monsters to some degree, capable of such horrific demise?  I have nieces and nephews, about to grow up in this world, so I surely cannot believe that. 

Then, my second thought is this:  Are we as individuals contributing to this sort of random violence?
Are we in any way factors responsible for how others conduct themselves within society?  Yes, I truly think we are.  Now, of course we can all argue that health and mental wellness play a dominant role in behaviour like this.  Chemical imbalance/ drug/alcohol influences may all be reasons for this type of cognitive behaviour however, can we truly say that mankind can wash their hands of any fault here?  I think not.

Look, what I'm getting at is simply this:  We really better start paying more attention to our kids.  We need to be more involved in their lives.  We also truly need to start being better human beings to one another in a general sense.  There are patterns here, folks.  Major signs of depression, anxiety and feelings of "unworthiness" in the minds and hearts of individuals who plot out random acts of violence, such as the recent tragedies we are hearing about lately.  We need to nurture and love people.  To be understanding and encouraging of the fact that we are all different, but the same. 

There is simply too much "bullying" going on within our society today.  Not just surrounding young people, but human beings on a general front.  We are always made to feel inferior within our society in some form or manner and it's killing us-LITERALLY!  Negative thoughts or emotions that are embedded in our brains by others manifest themselves into horrific acts or events.  Don't believe me?  Just take a look at events of this nature that have occurred in the past.  Most (if not all) individuals responsible for random acts of public violence were bullied, ridiculed or made to feel inadequate, by members of their society.  The pain creates madness within that spreads like a cancer.  Until one day, it cannot be contained any longer, and that insanity explodes!  The result?  An uncontrollable out-pouring of pain unleashed to all, making us an example of that inner conflict they have felt (and bottled up) for so long.

Maybe my thoughts here are insane ones, I dunno.  Nevertheless, I think I make some valid arguments, and if my words can allow you (the reader) to leave this page today thinking about it, then I have done my job as a Writer.  If I can plant a seed of doubt within your mind, so that you go out and consciously think about how you treat EVERYONE you meet, then that's a good thing.  Believe me when I tell you that things such as: Racism, negative comments, bullying, ridiculing others simply because they look or act differently than you do are all poisonous acts that we are ALL guilty of.  So, I think that as a society we ALL need to STOP and truly think about this. 

We all feel inadequate in life sometimes.  As individuals it's human nature to think this way.  However, it is NOT your right to play on the insecurities or fears of others-ever!  It is NOT ok to diminish or dismiss anyone's spirit or light, simply because for a moment, it allows you to feel better about your own.  We all reside here, on this earth, which means we all have a right to walk/live here without fear or ridicule that others will take away that right.  No one should be forced/pushed to live/lurk within the shadows of their worlds, simply because other individuals have decided that we are not all worthy to bask in the brightness of open society.  That is just as violent and cruel as the crimes we are hearing about in our world today.

Think about it...

**To all those who have lost their lives to violence around our world, and to all their loved ones, may you all find peace**

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Butterfly Kisses

“ We are but a moment’s sunshine, fading in the grass”

I heard this quote today and it made me stop and think about just how incredibly lucky we are, in so many ways. Yet, we barely even realize it, let alone cherish our blessings. We truly are “moments of sunshine” here for a short while. It’s strange how it takes loosing something/someone to become “reborn” into that humility.

As my thoughts continued I immediately remembered “Ari” Who is Ari you ask? Well, she was but a moment of sunshine in the lives of many. Today, this blog piece belongs to her. My very own special moment in time, dedicated to a beautiful light.

She was born Ariana Maria Scopacasa, on June 26, 2012. She died on June 28, 2012.

They say that when you lose your parents or a true love that you lose your past. However, when you lose a child you barely had a moment to know, I believe that you lose your future instead. Suddenly, you’ve been robbed of love, blessings and wonderful memories that you never had the opportunity to have.

I am indeed no stranger to loss in my life. Sadly, this is something we are all too painfully familiar with. However, I don’t begin to imagine the pain a parent must feel when they lose their child – for any reason. A human heart could die from the sorrow and a mind would surly explode from trying to answer a simple question-why? Why is life such a rare commodity. Why is some life given incredible boasts of longevity, while other lives are cruelly taken away too early? In a moment such as this, whether you believe in any form of divinity or not, you ask for answers. Sadly, not all answers can be given or worse, none are good enough.

Maybe, we aren’t supposed to understand things like this. Perhaps we are just to believe that there is a deeper meaning and purpose to why Ari had to leave so soon. I know that her parents have struggled with these thoughts every day, since their little girl left them. So what do you say? How do you feel? How can you get them to move on?

Today, I offer the only thing I can – words. Words of faith and love. Words that I believe Ariana wants me to say.

Voltaire once said: “ Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. It is not enough that a thing be possible for it to be believed.”

It is in these times that our faith must be at its peak because it is within these times that we despise our faith the most. We are filled with rage, anger and feelings of utter betrayal – by God, man and Universe. Yet, only in love can we understand, forgive and find the courage to move on.

Grief is something very few people understand. It doesn’t make sense. It provides no portal of time continuance. As painful as it is, you must will yourself to walk through the grief, in order to one day walk beyond it. We do this by allowing the one we lost teach us about the blessings that were made possible because of them. What were they? How have they changed you?

Ariana made me realize that I need to spend more time with my little ones. I have five beautiful and amazing souls in my life – my nephews: Matthew, Sebastian and Dante. As well as, my precious nieces: Emily and Francesca. Children have this incredible way of making your heart sing, even in times of defeat.

She also made me understand that the only thing that stands between life and death is time. That we need to make the most of each moment and live within them – always.

She allowed me to remember that I need to take my life back to a more simple time. When life was all about finding the biggest puddles to jump into. When the only task of the day was smiling more than you did yesterday. Building memories with those you love and especially with those you haven’t seen in a long time.

I know that every time I see a butterfly, dancing in the sunshine, I will think of her. Every time I see a little girl smelling a flower, it will remind me of the innocence she possessed. Whenever I hear children giggling (like only children can), I will smile because for a moment she made us all smile when she was born.

It is in those moments that I can find happiness that she visited this earth before moving back to Heaven. It is for these reasons that I am truly blessed that I was divinely touched by her light. She made me feel very special and I am so grateful to her for that.

My Dearest Rina and Bruno:

Always remember that those who love beyond the world CANNOT be separated by it.
Ariana loves you both with all her heart. She sits there in Heaven and tells all the souls about you both. What wonderful parents and people you are. How of every man and woman on this earth – she chose YOU over all others.

Know that from this day forth, whenever you feel a shiver, it’s your beloved daughter tickling your arms – letting you both know that she’s near.

That every time you feel a tickle against your face, it’s Ariana giving you a little “Butterfly Kiss”

Let her fill your hearts with love, joy and courage to try again. She wants nothing more, I truly believe that.

I love you both so much. Know that I am always here…

Friday, July 6, 2012


I have come to understand that life is merely a series of events, containing a number of different lessons within each one.  It's not about what you deserve but rather,  how much you can go through and learn about yourself (as well as those around you)  We are all here to gain as much knowledge as we can about who we are and what we're made of.  Good times and bad times all have their own examination points.  We are tested time and time again, sometimes without rest, to determine how well we can "roll with the punches" sort of speak.  After all, Darwin said it best:  "Life is merely a survival of the fittest" Those who survive- win. 

But, what do we win exactly?  This has been a question I've had all my life.  I think I speak for everyone when I say that our entire lives have been about survival.  We all have our journeys, stories and "punches" that we've had to roll with, time and time again.  I know that every time a new struggle surfaces in my life I become incredibly irritated because I feel as though I have JUST finished enduring the last one.  "No rest for the wicked" it seems.  Most times, I'm still utterly exhausted and tending to scars from my last battle, when BOOM! Here comes another.

Now don't get me wrong, although my life has been full of struggle, it has also been favoured with an abundance of blessings.  I am very grateful to have the opportunity to live my life on my terms each day.  I have incredible people who surround me on a daily basis, who give me never ending love, support and strength; to see me through all of the ugliness in this world.  They keep me focused on the beauty instead.  So, I must be doing something right.  Nevertheless, I just wish I could take an extended vacation from new struggles.  If only for a little while.

I have learned many lessons during my time here.  The latest one is this:  It is within those times that you truly feel you cannot go on is when you find the light and strength within yourself to do so.  There are days when I look back at all I've been through and think to myself:  "How on earth did I ever manage to get through all of that and still be happy, alive and well today?"  It's incredible how resilient our bodies, minds and souls can be. 

As I embark on a new journey at this time, I am filled with fear, reluctance and lack of will.  However, I know that I MUST walk through this dark valley, in order to feel the light upon my face once again.  But, it's a long and scary road ahead.  Will I make it?  seems to be the question I most ask myself.  Thankfully, "Yes, you will" seems to be the sweet song I hear in harmony from all those around me.  Then, there are those "non-believers" who conveniently stay by my side in evil excitement to watch my every tear fall and my every step fumble.  But that is just another component of this particular lesson.  You not only keep good company around, but envious ones as well.  For, I believe that it's the combined efforts of both within ones life that help you strive and reach for greatness!  It makes perfect sense, doesn't it?  Think about it.  You use the love and support of your "biggest fans" to raise you up when you want to fall or give up and the anger/determination of those consistently sticking fingers in your face (telling you that you're no good) to fuel your fire to the point of success.  It's brilliant.  Yes, this is second lesson I have learned, as of late. 

A very special thank you, from the bottom of my heart to those who truly inspire and demand greatness from me -in every moment of my life.  Your wisdom, support, strength and encouragement are the sole reason that I find the courage to "learn my lessons" on a daily basis.  An extra special thank you to all the "pretenders" in my life as well.  By pretenders I mean those who are not really in my corner, but say they are.  Those who are barely around for my successes, but are damn sure they always have centre stage for my failures.  Those who genuinely take pleasure in my struggles and losses.  I love you the most!  For it is because of you that I have all I could ever want and continuously keep me striving for more.

To all of you, who find yourself in the middle of a "life lesson" at the moment, I leave you with a few encouraging empowerment tools that get me through everything.  I hope you can take away power from it and let it fuel your life as well.  May peace, love and strength be with you-always!